Roy Allela, a 25-year old innovator and engineer from Kenya, developed gloves that enable better communication between the deaf and people who do not recognize sign language.

These smart gloves can be used for translating sign language into speech and enabling more comprehensive communication between the general public and the users of sign language.

There are flex sensors placed on each finger of the gloves that find out how much fingers bend. When connected to an Android phone, the gloves provide conversion of sign language into comprehensive speech. The Android application enables users to set the gender, the pitch and the speech of the voice, which

Roy said that his niece, who was born deaf, was an inspiration for him to develop these smart gloves. As he and his family do not recognize sign language, they often had problems while communicating with her. These gloves helped them to easily understand her.

Roy`s vision is to help hearing-impaired children in schools in Kenya. Even though these smart gloves are still in the development phase, they have already won some awards.

Statistics on hearing loss and deafness all over the world

• About 466 million (5%) of people all over the world are deaf, and 34 million of them are kinds.

• Deafness may be caused by birth complications, genetic causes, ear infections, infectious diseases, drug use, excessive noise exposure, and aging.

• Interventions to identify, prevent or address deafness are expensive but can offer benefits to some individuals.